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California needs 50,000 additional hospital beds, Gov. Newsom says

State officials are in the process of identifying places such as convention centers, fairgrounds, hotels and motels to set up temporary hospitals, Newsom said.

SACRAMENTO, Calif — California's 416 hospitals only have 75,000 licensed beds, which is not nearly enough to meet the state's projected demand as more people get sick from Coronavirus.

California's healthcare delivery system will be overwhelmed in the coming week based on artificial intelligence models run by the state. 

"Our new model suggests 50,000 is the new target number," said Governor Gavin Newsom.

The governor announced a multi-prong plan during a virtual press conference Monday to "meet the moment."

The plan has two main steps. The first is to secure the physical space for hospital beds and the second is to quickly expand the health care work force.

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Newsom said 30,000 beds will come from hospital surge plans which will be bumped up twofold to 40% from last week. These plans call for solutions such as setting up tents in hospital parking lots. 

That means California will need 20,000 beds outside the hospital system. So far, the state has lined up 3,000 beds, leaving Californians with a projected shortage of 17,000 beds.

"We need to start stacking in terms of resources," Newsom said.

The governor also said the state is in deep negotiation to get a billion units of gloves and hundreds of millions of pieces of protective gear such as shields, masks and gowns.

State officials are in the process of identifying places such as convention centers, fairgrounds, hotels and motels to set up temporary hospitals.

ABC10 asked the governor's office for a list of potential sites for temporary hospitals. The list was not provided.

Newsom said once those places are secured, it'll need staff. An omnibus executive order has been issued to relax some rules to bring back retirees and fast-track fourth year nursing students into the health care delivery system.

"Someone who's almost finished getting their nursing degree, get them licensed earlier, bringing people renewals back, retirees back, all of that," Newsom explained. "You start adding those resources, and we believe we can meet the moment."

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